Wednesday, June 25, 2014

County to post new ‘pedestrian only’ signs at Blackford Bridge

J-E News Editor
Webster County Fiscal Court held their final meeting of the fiscal year on Monday.
Among items the court discussed was the purchase of two large signs that will be posted on either end of the Blackford bridge.
Officially the bridge is designated as a “pedestrian-only” and is part of the Veterans Memorial Walk that stretches from Blackford into rural Crittenden County, connecting a veterans memorial in Webster County with one in Crittenden. But for years local residents have used the bridge for vehicle traffic, regardless of signs at both ends warning that it was for pedestrians only.
In February, state highway inspectors took a look at the bridge. Apparently the volume of ‘illegal’ traffic led state highway officials to consider requiring the county to bring the bridge up to state highway standards. For now the bridge will maintain it’s current status.
“The new signs will clearly say ‘pedestrian and emergency vehicle traffic only’,” said Judge Townsend. “We’re doing everything we can do.”
“At least with the signs up, if something was to happen down there, hopefully it will cover us,” added magistrate Chad Townsend.
In the past the county has tried everything from putting up barricades to blocking the roadway with gravel piles, but their efforts have done nothing to curb the flow of vehicular traffic across the bridge.
Judge Townsend also informed the court that the new $220,000 Webster County Dog Pound was in the final stages of completion.
“As of this morning, all we liked was the heat and air being hooked up,” he said. “That should be completed by Friday.”
Magistrate Townsend said that he had been by the facility recently and was very happy with what he’d seen.
“They’ve done a good job,” he said. Schriber Construction of Henderson did the bulk of the construction work. “The new dog pens look really good.”
On Monday the court also awarded road bids for the upcoming year. Among the contractors to successfully bid on materials were Hagen and Stone, Marathon Petroleum, Madisonville Pavers, Lafarge North America, Ware Trucking and Crown Contracting. These contractors will provide the materials the county will use to maintain their road system.
During the road request portion of the meeting, magistrate Chad Townsend ask road department officials  look at a culvert on Crab Orchard Creek Road and look at trimming trees on West Elm at the edge of Dixon.
Magistrate Tony Felker added that Daisy Lane and Don Miller Road both needed to be paved.
The court approved upgrades to the main elevator between the old and new courthouse buildings. A recent inspection found that the elevator was in need of improvements to meet new standards set by the state. Contractor Thyssen-Krupp will make complete the project for $3,145. 

1 comment:

  1. My understanding is that the county wants to keep the bridge open so that emergency vehicles (ambulance, fire truck) can get through, especially when the water is up and Blackford is cutoff from the rest of the County.